GCE Statement on the Seventh International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VII)
The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) salutes the Seventh International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VII) and welcomes the Marrakech Framework for Action adopted on June 17, 2022.
The GCE has participated both in the organization processes and in the Conference debates and thanks the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, the Moroccan Government and the civil society organizations and networks that have made it possible.
The Global Campaign for Education reaffirms that education is a universal and indivisible human right, on whose realisation the success of the Sustainable Development Agenda depends, and therefore it must be ensured to adults and youth, who unfortunately appear as the most excluded from the enjoyment of this fundamental right, especially women, those who live in poverty and are also part of marginalized populations.
Formal and non-formal education must secure access of adults and youth to learning environments equipped with technological resources, which are currently vital for employability and decent work and also needed to reach non-literate persons with disabilities.
The challenges facing the adult and youth population continue to be alarming: in 23% of the 159 countries that submitted data for GRALE 5, fewer than 1% of youth and adults aged 15 and above participate in education and learning programs.
The Global Campaign for Education agrees on the need to adapt and make all lifelong learning processes more flexible and calls on States to provide them with libraries and materials culturally adapted to the diverse community needs. We believe that both citizenship education and intercultural education are essential to ensure the right to education of migrant and displaced communities and rural areas inhabitants. This means building coherent, systematic and inclusive public policies, so that they promote the gender-transforming role of education and lifelong learning.
The GCE calls for the provision of progressive financing for free, quality, public adult and youth education and reminds states that they bear the primary responsibility for ensuring such provision mainly through just and equitable tax and revenue collection. The contribution of the private sector, even though being important, in no case should subrogate this obligation.
CONFINTEA VII has made clear the importance of continuing, strengthening and deepening literacy, especially in the post-pandemic context, for which new methods and strategies must be explored, mostly harvested in countries that have recently made qualitative progress.
The GCE highlights education’s enabling and transformative power and its central role in protecting the health and well-being of adults and youth. This mission requires improving teachers’ initial education and training, especially those dedicated to lifelong learning programs. It is convenient to strengthen cooperative relationships with universities and teacher training centers. The Community Learning Centers (CLCs) are key structures with which remarkable good practices and outcomes have been achieved, so these must be further stimulated.
The GCE endorses the Civil Society Manifesto and Declaration released by its esteemed member: the International Council for Adult Education, and commits to facilitating the implementation of the Marrakesh Framework for Action and, therefore, announces the follow up of its principles and recommendations.
The GCE calls on states and the international community to:
- Ensure the participation of civil society organisations in the design and implementation of public policies related to adult and youth education. The accumulated experience of civil society organisations is a fundamental asset for the success of educational programs, especially in popular education planning.
- Strengthen the role of adult and youth education and training in supporting a transition to sustainable development and green economies.
- Establish national and regional observatories for adult and youth education and learning, capable of generating data and producing independent research to guide public policy.
- Adopt and update legal frameworks to ensure universal access and enjoyment of adults and youth education and learning.
- Ensure sustained financing of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and adult and youth education at all levels and modalities, as part of the national education budget.
 Unesco Institute for Lifelong Learning. Fifth Global Report on Adult Learning and Education, June 2022.